My husband and I were lost in a conversation this evening trying to figure out how long we’ve been “quarantined” for. In so many ways, the last 2 weeks have gone by so slow and in other ways it’s been surprisingly fast. If you had asked me a month ago how I would handle homeschooling, working from home, and simply staying put for two weeks… I would have surely told you that I would be bat shit crazy by the end of it. Well, that is definitely true but in a whole different way than I had anticipated.
How can we simultaneously feel and hold onto so many different emotions? For me, these past two weeks have been filled with so much joy and gratitude, and appreciation for my friends and my family. I have had more quality time with my kids than I have in years. I am watching them learn, problem solve, and share emotions. I am seeing firsthand where they struggle academically and where they excel. I’ve watched my two children giggle like never before and come up with the most creative ways to stay busy together. They have formed a band, adventured in our yard, built many forts, and truly reconnected with each other (and don’t worry, plenty of fights in between). We have had family breakfasts, lunch, and dinners together. We’ve snuggled and watched movies and gone for family walks. I find myself almost fearful of what life will look like once we are back in school and back to work.
While I have such deep joy and appreciation of this time… I am also devastated inside. I’ve had tears streaming down my face more times than I can count in the past two weeks. I am fearful and scared and I don’t even really know why. Like many others, we are facing changes in our finances, our beloved routine is flipped upside down, and there are so many unknowns right now. I have no idea when (or if) we will send our kids back to school, we don’t know when our finances will balance back out, and half the time I don’t even know what day of the week it is. We are surrounded by so many blessings and so much to be thankful for, yet I am inundated with these heavy emotions that I can’t seem to wrap my head around.
As I sort my way through this all, I’ve come to realize what a personal journey I’ve been. In these short two weeks, I’ve gotten to know myself so much better on so many levels. I’ve been able to dig deeper into what really makes me happy and have had to learn ways to cope with the fear and anxiety that I have been facing. I’ve gotten creative and found new ways to connect with my kids, my husband, and my friends. I’ve witnessed my own behavioral patterns and come to some big realizations about how I handle my own personal challenges. I’ve started to take the longest showers in the world, simply to soak up some alone time and be still and process my thoughts. I’ve been reminded how much I love 1:1 time with my husband and realized that there are so many ways for us to connect at home, without getting a babysitter. I’ve put my phone down and listened to my kids more (and could still improve greatly) and wow, they have some incredible things to say!
I don’t have this all figured out… but what I’m slowly realizing is how beneficial this process is for our own, individual growth. I encourage you to really pay attention to the behavior patterns you’ve created and how you handle each challenge that comes up. Take this time to show some extra love to yourself. If you are journaling with us during this time, it is a great way to start to reflect on who you are. How amazing would it be to come out of this “quarantine” with a better understanding of who we are and what brings us real joy? What if we could take we learn and apply it to our daily lives, our daily decisions, and how we engage with our friends and family. What if we really allow this to shape and mold us. Take the time to stare out the window and be still with yourself. Can we let this change us for the better? Can we embrace these emotions and change our patterns? What do you want to remember about your personal journey 6 months from now? 6 years from now?
Sending love and hugs to all of you who can relate... we’ve got this. We will get through this, together.